Today is the 6th birthday of my girl. But she is not here on her special day. She is dead.  

Every time I think about her being dead, it somehow seems unreal. My inconceivable reality. It's as if I lack words to describe it but continuously find myself searching. Searching for words. Searching for her presence. 

birthdaycake

The Birthday Cake

Today is the 6th birthday of my girl. But she is not here on her special day. She is dead.

Every time I think about her being dead, it somehow seems unreal. My inconceivable reality. It’s as if I lack words to describe it but continuously find myself searching. Searching for words. Searching for her presence.

She’s changed my life

In her 55 hours of life, she has left an imprint on my soul that by far exceeds the amount of time I’ve spent with her. The echo of the time spent by her side vibrates my whole existence.

The pictures we have of her are hanging prominently in our bedroom. I look at them first thing when I wake up and last thing before I go to sleep. Her small body never grew up. The memory of her tiny hands and feet is an image etched in my mind.

Her memory is tucked neatly in my heart and accompanies me through my daily activities. It no longer is that I think of her every day in a longing way. The imprint she left, however, has greatly shaped what has happened and what I’ve been creating in my life since her death. In the most positive way, I could have never even imagined as a newly bereaved mother.

The ritual of celebrating her

Today, on her birthday I celebrate her. I let my heart lead the way. Every year, my heart needs something different.

The ritual of celebrating her helps to make it real. Most years this involves something that I take out to my friends and family, to help them remember A’Mya with me.

As easy as it is for the world to remember and celebrate a living human’s birthday, it’s challenging when the person is dead. As a society, we lack guidelines beyond the condolence cards at the time of death. With a dead child, people either forget after some years or they are unsure of how to react appropriately and best support the bereaved parents.

On her second birthday, I made this video in honour of her and as a present for her dad (Father’s Day in Australia, where her father is from, happens to be on the first Sunday in September). I watch it often. I watched it today with my daughter’s twin sister.

On her third birthday, I published my first book in her honour.

Today, on her sixth birthday, I was hoping to publish my fourth book. It got delayed because of health reasons. Instead, I decided to donate six copies of my books to an organization called Heartfelt in Australia. They took the pictures of our daughter during the short time she was alive, those that are hanging in our bedroom. They are my most prized possession.

I do it for myself

Whatever I do, I’m fully aware I do it for my own sake. I no longer expect people to mention her, I do it myself. Sharing what she means to me and how I feel is part of you who I am. I ask for what I need because people don’t necessarily anticipate correctly or fear to do the wrong thing.

On her birthday, as well as on the anniversary of her death, I ask people around me to be courageous and mention her name, write her name on my FB wall, light a candle, speak out her name, write it on a piece of paper and the city from where they are writing it … or make a donation to the GPS charity in her memory.

I’m sure that I speak for many other bereaved parents when saying that what you do might be a small gesture for you but it holds a huge amount of meaning for my heart. My heart as A’Mya’s mother.

Thank you for reading, thank you for caring.

In honour of A’Mya Mirica Hope.
In honour of all your children who will never be able to celebrate their birthdays here with you.
I feel with you.

**************************

NEW BOOK! Surviving My First Year of Child Loss – Personal Stories From Grieving Parents


The community of parents from the Grieving Parents Support Network has created a new support resource for bereaved parents.
Contributors to Surviving My First Year of Child Loss were asked to share personal and relational challenges they experienced in the first year of grief. The result is twenty-six heart-wrenchingly honest essays that communicate the individual way each parent coped during their first twelve months of loss.
More than anything else, the Surviving My First Year of Child Loss project invites grieving parents to find support in a community they never intended to join.

Please read more here. You can also find the book here on FB.

Please also read:

Vulnerability is Bravery

 

5 Things I Found Out Since Being A Bereaved Mother

 

 


Print Friendly, PDF & Email



  • Comment through Facebook

    comments

    Nathalie Himmelrich

    Nathalie Himmelrich the author of the new book GRIEVING PARENTS - Surviving Loss As A Couple. As a relationship coach and grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. The book is about surviving loss as a couple and the re-emerging from grief into a life of joy and melancholy, laughter and tears, happiness and sadness. Not either or but AND. She loves helping people find their way back to a life of joy, laughter and happiness through her role as a Transformational Coach & Counsellor in her business Reach for the Sky Counselling & Coaching. Her passion is writing and re-thinking human behaving and emoting. She’s processing her own experiences using her blog and you can also read her daughter Ananda Mae's blog, where she writes letters to her identical twin sister, who left her body at a young age of 3 days. If not at her desk, you can find Nathalie on the playground running after her daughter or feeding the ducks at the Lake of Zurich, Switzerland, if Ananda Mae hasn't managed to steal all of the dry bread. Find Nathalie here: Nathalie Himmelrich or here: Grieving Parents

    RELATED POSTS

    LEAVE A COMMENT